Redwoods & South Coast

May 7-11, 2001

We could not have picked a better time for the Redwoods-South Coast trip as far as weather was concerned. We had five days of warm, sunny, perfect weather. We also had Ewart along and, having lived in the area, he led us on the scenic byways with lots of interesting information.

We left Eugene via Hwy. 126, stopping for a morning break at Woahink Lake Park and then headed south to Shore Acres Park for lunch. The rhodies in the garden were in full bloom and very colorful. We left via the back road but eventually returned to Hwy. 101 and went through Port Orford where Ewart led us to a high point where we had a good view of the port where the town got its name. We arrived at Cape Blanco about 2:00 p.m. and toured the Hughes House and Cape Blanco lighthouse. Many of our group walked the 168 steps to the top for a great view. We arrived at the Beachfront Inn at Brookings about 5:00 with everyone having an ocean view room. Many walked on the beach before dinner.

On Tuesday, Liz led us to the trees of Mystery near Klamath and we enjoyed the gift shop, museum and the walk which gets considerably steeper at the top among the redwoods. A sky tram will be open there in June. We arrived at Klamath and some walked and some rode a blue pickup truck up to the Tour Through Tree and we drove the truck through the tree and took pictures. Liz led us through the Newton B. Drury Parkway, an eight-mile long grove of large Redwoods, ending at the Big Tree Wayside. We stopped at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center and then hurried on to the Samoa Cookhouse near Eureka for lunch. (family style and no one left hungry). We returned to Eureka and the Clarke County Memorial Museum featuring among other things Indian Basketry. Our lodging was the Red Lion for two nights.

A highlight of the trip was the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile drive through groves of Redwoods. We stopped at the Visitor and Interpretive Center and then drove four miles to the Founder's Grove to hike the half-mile-loop trail beginning with the Founder's Tree. we arrived at Ferndale for lunch, shopping and a tour of historic homes which Liz had researched. We found Len Casanova's home, returned to Eureka and toured the historic homes there.

On Thursday we left Eureka and near Orick drove up to the Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Grove in the Redwood National Forest, which she had dedicated in 1968. The trail is scenic, easy and well documented. We continued on to the Crescent Beach Overlook and had lunch at the city park in Crescent City. In the afternoon we left for the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest and the Simpson-Reed Trail. The trail through 1500-year-old Redwoods is by far the most outstanding. Standing among these trees, the atmosphere is almost cathedral-like. Many of our group came away with a great deal of feeling for these ancient trees. We spent the night at Curley's Redwood Lodge (built from one Redwood log) and had a complimentary breakfast.

We left for home on Friday, stopped for a morning break at Harris Beach in Brookings, toured the Azalea Garden there and arrived in Bandon for lunch. We had a short afternoon break at Lighthouse Park and arrived home about 5:30. We broke in a new bus driver, Lou Turner, and thank him for being patient and funny.

Thanks to Ewart for all his information about the area, and to Ray who led the hikes. Thanks also to Marian, who took reservations, and to the hospitality committee, Nicole, Ethel and Janet, and to all who furnished cookies and other goodies.

Riders were: Ethel Allen, Ewart Baldwin, Helen Barnard, Mary & Richard Bentzen, Marian & John Borchardt, Nicole Chase, Kent Christoferson, Wendy Clark, Jeannette Forsman, Judy Dobell, Dora Harris, Mary Ann Holser, LeRoy Klemm, Ray Jensen, Dodie Leppmann, Cleora Mersdorf, Barbara & Walt Miller, Nola Shurtleff, June Smith, Nancy Smith, Janet & Richard Speelman, Millard Thomas, Vera Woolley and leaders Bette Hack & Liz Reanier.

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